First to the (Eastern) Jew

The Church of the East owed its rapid expansion in Mesopotamia to the Jewish Diaspora as well, for the earlier missionary efforts to the east of the Euphrates, which presumably began towards the end of the first century, met with particular approval in Jewish circles. The numerically significant Jewish Diaspora in Mesopotamia, which included nearly a million people, had resulted from the earlier Assyrian and Babylonian invasions…

The defeat of the second Jewish uprising of 132-135 CE resulted in an additional wave of Jewish immigration to Parthian Mesopotamia, but also to Arabia and India.

Baumer, The Church of the East, p. 12

Here we see the expansion of the gospel East from Antioch and across the border into the Parthian empire followed the same pattern we see repeatedly in the Pauline missions in Acts. The gospel tended to take root first among the Jewish diaspora community, then spilled over into the gentile population.

Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

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